How to Leverage Artificial Intelligence for Your Marketing Strategy

December 22, 2017 Matthew Cook

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of today’s hottest topics. And rightfully so—artificial intelligence has the ability to transform every industry imaginable, from the medical field to the travel industry. Whether you believe it or not, you’ve likely already engaged in some type of interaction with artificial intelligence and had no idea it even occurred.

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When it comes to your marketing strategy, there are a number of tactics and tools available that utilize the powers of AI to help your business make better investments and remain competitive in your respective field. However, if you’re new to the world of AI and aren’t sure where to start, things can get confusing.

Here are some of the many ways you can begin to leverage the power of artificial intelligence in your own marketing strategy.

Personalized Website Experiences

A recent survey conducted by Evergage observed that 33 percent of surveyed marketers use artificial intelligence to deliver personalized experiences on the web. The study also found 63 percent of respondents saw an increase in conversion rates and 61 percent saw improvements in customer experience.

In fact, many websites and applications already use artificial intelligence to improve user experiences, such as Pandora using machine-learned algorithms to determine new songs a listener might enjoy and make smart recommendations.

While AI can’t build you an entirely new website, it can help you improve the experience your customers have while they’re there, which is more important.

Intelligent algorithms can help you analyze hundreds of data points from one single user at a time. Information such as location, interaction with the site, device used, and demographic information can all be collected. This then enables AI to display the most fitting content, share the most suitable offers, and even determine where they spent the most time online. On top of that, push notifications can be personalized to match the behaviour of the user, allowing the right message to be displayed to the right user at the right time.

Today’s consumers expect their web experiences to be more meaningful—so having the ability to share the most relevant content, offers, and notifications based on their demographics, location, and search history is a huge edge.

Wonderful Chatbots

If you think you’ve never chatted with a chatbot, you’re probably wrong. Chatbots are everywhere, from the lovely agent named “Emily” who helped you book your flights online to the customer service rep you chatted with when your phone ran out of data. Chances are if you’re chatting online with a service rep it’s not a real person—it’s a bot. Kind of freaky, isn’t it? To top it all off, in some cases, chatbots are creating better and more personalized content and responses than their human counterparts. How is this even possible?

Because chatbots have access to millions upon millions of customer-centered data points, they’re able to detect patterns, spot repetitive problems, and better predict what’s causing issues for different users. Due to this vast and instant access to knowledge, chatbots are easily more knowledgeable than most human customer services representatives. They simply have more experience in two seconds than a human can gather in a week.

But it doesn’t stop at basic customer service interactions. Chatbots are able to do a number of different things, from administering surveys and asking questions to making product recommendations. Sephora, for example, uses a chatbot that administers a simple “makeup quiz” to help determine what style and look the user prefers. Smart product recommendations are then made and the bot even offers makeup advice. It’s smarter content that’s personalized to each user.

Spotting Churn and Engaging Customers

If you’ve been trying to determine when and why a customer churns, artificial intelligence has you covered. Machine-learning algorithms help identify specific customer segments that are disengaged and about to leave your store for competitors. AI-powered tools gather data, build a predictive model, and test that model on actual customers. The information they learn can then be used to indicate if a customer is about to churn and even what stage of churning they’re in. This gives you the opportunity to jump in and fix the situation.

While it’s pretty difficult to re-engage a customer that has churned quickly (someone who abandoned the product shortly after they started to use it), it is possible to re-engage late-churning customers (someone who has a lasting relationship with your brand). AI can use a number of algorithms to serve incentives that are created to entice customers to continue using your product. You don’t have to see your customers leave and they feel they’ve had a better experience with your brand. It’s a win-win.

When you combine personalized content with AI-powered churn prediction, you’re able to keep your customers engaged, build more lasting relationships, and create a higher lifetime value.

Intelligent Customer Insights

While it takes a human a significant amount of time to crunch the numbers that lead to consumer behavioural patterns, artificial intelligence can do it in a matter of seconds. Artificial intelligence algorithms are able to create a number of customer profiles based on billions of data points. These points include geo-specific events, psychographic factors, referral sources, on-site interactions, purchase behaviours, and more.

The machine-learning algorithms can then better match customers to products they’ll enjoy, identify which customer profiles should be excluded or included in specific campaigns, and even prevent low stock items from being promoted to customers who make regular returns.

Not only does the customer get a better brand experience and more personalized content, but you’re able to limit the amount of waste and increase the likelihood of a sale being made.

Putting It All Together

So artificial intelligence sounds pretty amazing, that much is clear. But knowing how marketers can work hand-in-hand with this technology can be a tricky call to make. When should AI be integrated into your marketing strategy and how? How shouldn’t it be integrated?

First and foremost, look for places where AI can make the biggest impact and provide the greatest results. Whether it’s a highly personalized chatbot or personalized web notifications, don’t introduce AI in places it doesn’t need to be. Remember, you’re trying to make a difference, not use technology just because it’s there.

It’s also important to ensure your data is sufficient enough for the algorithms to be able to learn. Imagine trying to study for a test, but the textbook was full of blank pages. Artificial intelligence is powered by data and if you don’t have enough, it’s not going to work the way it’s supposed to. Gather the data you need, then engage AI.

Finally, always be wary about personalizing too much. Users shouldn’t be able to tell that a robot fed them these messages or initiated a push notification. When it comes to personalization and AI, less is often more. Make sure your interactions always remain natural with a human touch.

AI has been around for years, but now it’s time to use it to your advantage. Test the waters! See how artificial intelligence can help you improve your sales, your customer experiences, and the overall success of your company.

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